Hohenzollern: Wikis


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House of Hohenzollern
Imperial coat of arms of Germany
Country Germany, Romania
Parent house Burchardinger dynasty
Titles Count of Zollern
Margrave of Brandenburg
Duke of Prussia
Burgrave of Nuremberg
Margrave of Bayreuth
Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach
King of Prussia
German Emperor
Prince of Neuchâtel
King of Romania
Founder Burgrave Frederick I of Nuremberg
Final ruler Germany and Prussia:
Emperor William II (1888–1918)

King Michael (1927–1930, 1940–1947)

Current head Germany and Prussia:
HI&RH Prince Georg Friedrich (1994–)

HH Prince Frederick William (1965–)

extinct since 1869

HM King Michael (1947–)

Founding year 1100s AD
Deposition Germany and Prussia:
1918: German Revolution
1947: Stalinist take-over
Ethnicity German, Romanian
Cadet branches Hohenzollern-Hechingen

The House of Hohenzollern is a noble family and royal dynasty of electors, kings and emperors of Prussia, Germany and Romania. It originated in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century. They took their name from their ancestral home, the Burg Hohenzollern castle near Hechingen.

The family uses the motto Nihil Sine Deo (English: Nothing Without God). The family coat of arms, first adopted in 1192, began as a simple shield quarterly sable and argent. A century later, in 1317, Frederick IV, Burgrave of Nuremberg, added the head and shoulders of a hound as a crest.[1] Later quartering reflected heiresses’ marriages into the family.

The family split into two branches, the Catholic Swabian branch and the Protestant Franconian branch. The Swabian branch ruled the area of Hechingen until their eventual extinction in 1869. The Franconian branch was more successful: members of the Franconian branch became Margrave of Brandenburg in 1415 and Duke of Prussia in 1525. Following the union of these two Franconian lines in 1618, the Kingdom of Prussia was created in 1701, and subsequently led the unification of Germany and the creation of the German Empire in 1871.

Social unrest at the end of World War I led to the German Revolution of 1918, with the formation of the Weimar Republic forcing the Hohenzollerns to abdicate, thus bringing an end to the modern German monarchy. The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 set the final terms for the dismantling of the German Empire.




Counts of Zollern (before 1061-1204)

Vivat ribbon commemorating house of Zollern 1415-1915

The oldest known mention of the Zollern was in 1061. It was a countship, ruled by the counts of Zollern, who are believed to have originated from the Burchardinger dynasty.

Count Frederick III of Zollern was a loyal retainer of the Holy Roman Emperors Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI, and around 1185 he married Sophia of Raabs, the daughter of Conrad II, Burgrave of Nuremberg.

After the death of Conrad II, who left no male heirs, Frederick III was granted the burgraviate of Nuremberg in 1192 as Burgrave Frederick I of Nuremberg-Zollern. Since then the family name has been Hohenzollern.

After Frederick's death, his sons partitioned the family lands between themselves:

  • The older brother[2], Frederick IV, received the county of Zollern and burgraviate of Nuremberg in 1200 from his father, thereby founding the Swabian branch of the House of Hohenzollerns. The Swabian line remained Catholic.
  • The younger brother[3], Conrad III, received the burgraviate of Nuremberg from his older brother Frederick IV in 1218, thereby founding the Franconian branch of the House of Hohenzollern. The Franconian line later converted to Protestantism.

Franconian cadet branch and Brandenburg-Prussian Branch

The cadet Franconian branch of the House of Hohenzollern was founded by Conrad III, Burgrave of Nuremberg.

Beginning in the 16th century, this branch of the family became Protestant and decided on expansion through marriage and the purchase of surrounding lands.

The family supported the Hohenstaufen and Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire during the 12th to 15th centuries, and they were rewarded with several territorial grants.

In the first phase, the family gradually added to their lands, at first with many small acquisitions in the Franconian and Bavarian regions of Germany:

In the second phase, the family expanded their lands further with large acquisitions in the Brandenburg and Prussian regions of Germany and Poland:

These acquisitions eventually transformed the Hohenzollerns from a minor German princely family into one of the most important in Europe.

Burgraves of Nuremberg (1192–1427)

Region of Nuremberg, Ansbach, Kulmbach and Bayreuth, (Franconia and Bavaria, Germany)
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  • 1192–1200/1204: Frederick I/III (also count of Zollern)
  • 1204–1218: Frederick II/IV (son of, also count of Zollern)
  • 1218–1261/1262: Conrad I/III (brother of, also count of Zollern)
  • 1262–1297: Frederick III (son of)
  • 1297–1300: John I (son of)
  • 1300–1332: Frederick IV (brother of)
  • 1332–1357: John II (son of)
  • 1357–1398: Frederick V (son of)

At Frederick V's death on 21 January 1398 his lands were partitioned between his two sons:

  • 1398–1420: John III/I (son of, also Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach)
  • 1420–1427: Frederick VI/I/I, (brother of, also Elector of Brandenburg and Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach)

After John III/I's death on [11 June 1420, the two principalities were briefly reunited under Frederick VI/I/I. From 1412 Frederick VI became Margrave of Brandenburg as Frederick I and Elector of Brandenburg as Frederick I. From 1420 he became Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. Upon his death on 21 September 1440, his territories were divided between his sons:

From 1427 onwards the title of Burgrave of Nuremberg was absorbed into the titles of Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach.

Margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1398–1791)

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  • 1398: Frederick I (also Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach)
  • 1440: Albert I/I/III Achilles (son of, also Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and Elector of Brandenburg)
  • 1486: Frederick II/II (son of, also Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach)
  • 1515: George I/I the Pious (son of, also Duke of Brandenburg-Jägerndorf)
  • 1543: George Frederick I/I/I/I (son of, also Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, Duke of Brandenburg-Jägerndorf and Regent of Prussia)
  • 1603: Joachim Ernst
  • 1625: Frederick III
  • 1634: Albert II
  • 1667: John Frederick
  • 1686: Christian I Albrecht
  • 1692: George Frederick II/II (later Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach)
  • 1703: William Frederick (before 1686–1723)
  • 1723: Charles William (1712–1757)
  • 1757: Christian II Frederick (1757–1791) (son of, also Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach)

On 2 December 1791, Christian II Frederick sold the sovereignty of his principalities to king Frederick William II of Prussia.

Margraves of Brandenburg-Kulmbach (1398-1604), later Brandenburg-Bayreuth (1604–1791)

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On 2 December 1791, Christian II Frederick sold the sovereignty of his principalities to king Frederick William II of Prussia.

Margraves and Electors of Brandenburg (1417–1806)

Brandenburg region of Germany.
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From 1701 the title of Elector of Brandenburg was attached to the title of King in and of Prussia.

Dukes of Brandenburg-Jägerndorf (1523–1622)

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The Duchy of Brandenburg-Jägerndorf was purchased in 1523.

  • 1541–1543 : George I/I the Pious (also Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach)
  • 1543–1603 : George Frederick I/I/I/I (also Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and Regent of Prussia)
  • 1603–1606 : Joachim I/I/III (also Regent of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg)
  • 1606–1621 : Johann Georg of Hohenzollern

The duchy of Brandenburg-Jägerndorf was confiscated by Ferdinand III of the Holy Roman Empire in 1622.

Margraves of Brandenburg-Küstrin (1535–1571)

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The short-lived Margraviate of Brandenburg-Küstrin (principality) was set up, against the Hohenzollern house laws on succession, as a secundogenitur fief of the House of Hohenzollern, a typical German institution.

He died without issue. The Margraviate of Brandenburg-Küstrin was absorbed in 1571 into the Margraviate and Electorate of Brandenburg.

Margraves of Brandenburg-Schwedt (1688–1788)

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From 1688 onwards the Margraves of Brandenburg-Schwedt were a side branch of the House of Hohenzollern. The Margraviate of Brandenburg-Schwedt although never was a principality with allodial rights in its own right.

  • 1688–1711 : Philip William, Prince in Prussia, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt (son of Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg)
  • 1731–1771 : Frederick William, Prince in Prussia, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt (son of)
  • 1771–1788 : Henry Frederick, Prince in Prussia, Margrave of Brandenburg Schwedt (son of)

In 1788 the title was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia.

Dukes of Prussia (1525–1701)

POL Prusy książęce COA.svg

In 1525 the Duchy of Prussia was established as a fief of the King of Poland.

Prussia region of Germany and Poland.

From 1701 the title of Duke of Prussia was attached to the title of King in and of Prussia.

Kings in Prussia (1701–1772)

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In 1701 the title of King in Prussia was granted, without the Duchy of Prussia being elevated to a Kingdom within the Holy Roman Empire. From 1701 onwards the titles of Duke of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg were always attached to the title of King in Prussia.

In 1772 the Duchy of Prussia was elevated to a kingdom.

Kings of Prussia (1772–1918)

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Kingdom of Prussia in 1815.

In 1772 the title of King of Prussia was granted with the establishment of the Kingdom of Prussia. From 1772 onwards the titles of Duke of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg were always attached to the title of King of Prussia.

In 1871 the Kingdom of Prussia was a constituting member of the German Empire.

German Kings and Emperors (1871–1918)

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German empire in 1871.

Reigning (1871–1918)

In 1871 the German empire was proclaimed. With the accession of Wilhelm I to the newly-established imperial German throne, the titles of King of Prussia, Duke of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg were always attached to the title of German Emperor.

In 1918 the German empire was abolished and replaced by the Weimar Republic.

Pretenders (1918 up to today)

Prince Georg Friedrich head of the Prussian branch of the House of Hohenzollern

Despite the abolition of the German monarchy in 1918, the House of Hohenzollern never relinquished their claims to the thrones of Prussia and the German Empire. These claims are linked by the Constitution of the second German Empire: according to this, whoever was King of Prussia was also German Emperor. However, these claims are not recognised by the Federal Republic of Germany.

House of Hohenzollern

Name Titular
Wilhelm II 1918-1941 Exiled in the Netherlands until his death
Crown Prince William 1941-1951
Prince Louis Ferdinand 1951-1994
Prince Georg Friedrich since 1994
Prince Christian-Sigismund of Prussia heir presumptive

The head of the house is the titular King of Prussia and German Emperor. He also bears a historical claim to the title of prince of Orange. Members of this line style themselves princes of Prussia.

Swabian senior branch

Combined coat of arms of the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1849).

The senior Swabian[4] branch of the House of Hohenzollern was founded by Frederick II, Burgrave of Nuremberg.

Ruling the minor German principalities of Hechingen, Sigmaringen and Haigerloch, this branch of the family decided to remain Roman Catholic and from 1567 onwards split into the Hohenzollern-Hechingen, Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Hohenzollern-Haigerloch branches. When the last count of Hohenzollern, Charles I of Hohenzollern (1512–1579) died, the territory was to be divided up between his three sons:

They never expanded from these three Swabian principalities, which was one of the reasons they became relatively unimportant in German history for much of their existence. However, they kept royal lineage and married members of the great royal European houses.

In 1767 the principality of Hohenzollern-Haigerloch was incorporated in the other two principalities. In 1850, the princes of both Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen abdicated their thrones, and their principalities were incorporated as the Prussian province of Hohenzollern.

The last ruling Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Karl Anton, would later serve as Minister-President of Prussia between 1858 and 1862.

The Hohenzollern-Hechingen finally became extinct in 1869. A descendent of this branch was Sophie Chotek, wife of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Este.

However, a member of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen family, Charles Eitel, second son of prince Karl Anton, was chosen to become prince of Romania as Charles I in 1866. In 1881 Charles I became the first king of the Romanians.

Charles' older brother, Leopold, was offered the Spanish throne after a revolt removed queen Isabella II in 1870. Although encouraged by Bismarck to accept it, Leopold backed down once France's Emperor, Napoleon III, stated his objection. Despite this, France still declared war, beginning the Franco-Prussian war.

Charles I had only a daughter who died very young, so Leopold's younger son Ferdinand I would succeed his uncle as king of the Romanians in 1906, and his descendants continued to rule in Romania until the end of the monarchy in 1947.

Today this branch is represented only by the last king, Michael, and his daughters. The descendants of Leopold's oldest son William continue to use the titles of prince or princess of Hohenzollern.

Counts of Hohenzollern (1204–1575)

Hohenzollern region, now in Württemberg, Germany

In 1204, the County of Hohenzollern was established out of the fusion of the County of Zollern and the Burgraviate of Nuremberg.

In 1575 the County of Hohenzollern was split in two Counties with allodial rights, Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.

Counts of Hohenzollern-Haigerloch (1567–1630 and 1681–1767)

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The County of Hohenzollern-Haigerloch was established in 1567 without allodial rights

  • 1575–1601 : Christoph of Hohenzollern-Haigerloch
  • 1601–1623 : Johann Christoph of Hohenzollern-Haigerloch
  • 1601–1630 : Johann of Hohenzollern-Haigerloch

Between 1630 and 1681 the county was temporarly integrated into the Margraviate of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.

  • 1681–1702: Francis Anthony of Hohenzollern-Haigerloch
  • 1702–1750: Ferdinand Anthony of Hohenzollern-Haigerloch
  • 1750–1767: Francis Christoph Anthony of Hohenzollern-Haigerloch

With the death of Francis Christoph Anthony, the county of Hohenzollern-Haigenloch was definitely absorbed into the principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen in 1767.

Counts, later Princes of Hohenzollern-Hechingen (1576–1623–1850)

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The County of Hohenzollern-Hechingen was established in 1576 with allodial rights.

  • Eitel Friedrich IV (1576–1605)
  • Johann Georg (1605–1623) (also prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen)
  • Eitel Friedrich V (1623–1661) (also count of Hohenzollern-Hechingen)
  • Philipp Christoph Friedrich (1661–1671)
  • Friedrich Wilhelm (1671–1735)
  • Friedrich Ludwig (1735–1750)
  • Josef Friedrich Wilhelm (1750–1798)
  • Hermann (1798–1810)
  • Friedrich (1810–1838)
  • Konstantin (1838–1850)

In 1850 the principality was sold to the Franconian branch of the family and incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia. The branch became extinct in dynastic line with Konstantin's death in 1869.

Counts, later Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1576–1623–1849)


The County of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was established in 1576 with allodial rights and a seat at Sigmaringen Castle.

  • Karl II (1576–1606)
  • Johann I (1606–1623) (also Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen)
  • Johann II (1623–1638) (also Count of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen)
  • Meinrad I (1638–1681)
  • Maximilian (1681–1689)
  • Meinrad II (1689–1715)
  • Joseph Franz Ernst (1715–1769)
  • Karl Friedrich (1769–1785)
  • Anton Aloys (1785–1831)
  • Karl III (1831–1848)
  • Karl Anton (1848–1849)

In 1850 the principality was sold to the Franconian branch of the family and incorporated into the kingdom of Prussia. Since then, the family continues to use the princely title of Fürsten von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen until 1869 and Fürsten von Hohenzollern until today.

Kings of the Romanians

Kingdom of Romania - Small CoA.svg

Reigning (1866–1947)

The Principality of Romania was established in 1862, after the Ottoman vassal states of Wallachia and Moldavia had been united in 1859 under Alexander John Cuza as Prince of Romania in a personal union.

He was deposed in 1866 by the Romanian parliament which then invited a German prince of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen family, Charles, to become the new Prince of Romania.

In 1881 the Principality of Romania was proclaimed a Kingdom.

In 1947 the Kingdom of Romania was abolished and replaced with the People's Republic of Romania.

Succession (1947 until today)

King Michael has retained his claim on the Romanian throne. At present, the claim is not recognised by Romania, a republic.

House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen

The princely House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen never relinquished their claims to the princely throne of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen or the royal throne of Romania. Because the last reigning king of the Romanians, Michael I, has no male issue, upon his death the claim will devolve to the head of the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (or to the king's female line descendants, if one follows the amended Romanian house laws).

The head of the family is styled His Serene Highness The Prince of Hohenzollern.

See also


  1. ^ A Royal Student Stein
  2. ^ Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe, Jiří Louda & Michael Maclagan, 1981, pp. 178-179.
  3. ^ Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe, Jiří Louda & Michael Maclagan, 1981, pp. 178-179.
  4. ^ Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe, Jiří Louda & Michael Maclagan, 1981, pp. 178-179.

External links

House of Hohenzollern
Founding year: 12th century
German unification Ruling House of Germany
18 January 1871 – 9 November 1918
Prussia established Ruling House of Prussia
1525 – 9 November 1918
Romanian unification Ruling House of Romania
26 March 1881 – 30 December 1947

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HOHENZOLLERN, the name of a castle which stood on the hill of Zollern about 1 m. south of Hechingen, and gave its name to the family to which the present German emperor belongs. A vague tradition connects the house with the Colonna family of Rome, or the Colalto family of Lombardy; but one more definite unites the Hohenzollerns with the Burkhardingers, who were counts in Raetia during the early part of the 10th century, and two of whom became dukes of Swabia. Tassilo, a member of this family, is said to have built a castle at Zollern early in the 9th century; but the first historical mention of the name is in the Chronicon of a certain Berthold (d. 1088),. who refers to Burkhard and Wezil, or Werner, of Zollern, or Zolorin. These men appear to have been counts of Zollern, and to have met their death in 1061. The family of Wezil died out in 1194, and the existing branches of the Hohenzollerns are descended from Burkhard and his son Frederick, whose eldest son, Frederick II., was in great favour with the German kings, Lothair the Saxon and Conrad III. Frederick II. died about 1145, and his son and successor, Frederick III., was a constant supporter of the Hohenstaufen. This count married Sophia,. daughter and heiress of Conrad, burgrave of Nuremberg, and about 1192 he succeeded his father-in-law as burgrave, obtaining also some lands in Austria and Franconia. He died about 1200; and his sons, Conrad and Frederick, ruled their lands in common until 1227, when an important division took place. Conrad became burgrave of Nuremberg, and, receiving the lands which had come into the family through his mother, founded the Franconian branch of the family, which became the more important of the two; while Frederick, receiving the county of Zollern and the older possessions of the family, was the ancestor of the Swabian branch.

Early in the 12th century Burkhard, a younger son of Frederick I., secured the county of Hohenberg, and this district remained in the possession of the Hohenzollerns until the death of Count Sigismund in 1486. Its rulers, however, with the exception of Count Albert II. (d. 1298), played an unimportant part in German history. Albert, who was a Minnesinger, was loyal to the declining fortunes of the Hohenstaufen, and afterwards supported his brother-in-law, Rudolph of Habsburg, in his efforts to obtain the German throne. He shared in the campaigns of Rudolph and fell in battle in 1298, during the struggle between Adolph of Nassau and Albert of Habsburg (afterwards King Albert I.). When this family became extinct in 1486 Hohenberg passed to the Habsburgs.

The Franconian branch of the Hohenzollerns was represented in 1227 by Conrad, burgrave of Nuremberg, whom the emperor Frederick II. appointed guardian of his son Henry, and administrator of Austria. After a short apostasy, during which he supported Henry Raspe, landgrave of Thuringia, Conrad returned to the side of the Hohenstaufen and aided Conrad IV. He died in 1261, when his son and successor, the burgrave Frederick III., had already obtained Bayreuth through his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Otto of Meran (d. 1234). Frederick took a leading part in German affairs, and it is interesting to note that he had a considerable share in securing the election of his uncle, Rudolph of Habsburg, as German king in 1273. He died in 1297 and was succeeded by his son, Frederick IV. This burgrave fought for King Albert I. in Thuringia, and supported Henry VII. in his efforts to secure Bohemia for his son John; but in 1314, forsaking his father's policy, he favoured Louis, afterwards the emperor Louis IV., in his struggle with Frederick, duke of Austria, and by his conduct at the battle of Miihldorf in 1322 and elsewhere earned the designation of "saviour of the empire." Frederick, however, did not neglect his hereditary lands. He did something for the maintenance of peace and the security of traders, gave corporate privileges to villages, and took the Jews under his protection. His services to Louis were rewarded in various ways, and, using part of his wealth to increase the area of his possessions, he bought the town and district of Ansbach in 1331. Dying in 1332, Frederick was succeeded by his son, John II., who, after one of his brothers had died and two others had entered the church, ruled his lands in common with his brother Albert. About 1 33 8 John bought Culmbach and Plassenburg, and on the strength of a privilege granted to him in 1347 he seized many robberfortresses and held the surrounding lands as imperial fiefs. In general he continued his father's policy, and when he died in 1 357 was succeeded by his son, Frederick V., who, after the death of his uncle Albert in 1361, became sole ruler of Nuremberg, Ansbach and Bayreuth. Frederick lived in close friendship with the emperor Charles IV., who formally invested him with Ansbach and Bayreuth and made him a prince of the empire in 1363. In spite of the troubled times in which he lived, Frederick was a successful ruler, and introduced a regular system of public finance into his lands. In 1397 he divided his territories between his sons John and Frederick, and died in the following year. His elder son, John III., who had married Margaret, a daughter of the emperor Charles IV., was frequently in the company of his brothers-in-law, the German kings Wenceslaus and Sigismund. He died without sons in 1420.

Since 1397 the office of burgrave of Nuremberg had been held by John's brother, Frederick, who in 1415 received Brandenburg from King Sigismund, and became margrave of Brandenburg as Frederick I. (q.v.). On his brother's death in 1420 he reunited the lands of his branch of the family, but in 1427 he sold his rights as burgrave to the town of Nuremberg. The subsequent history of this branch of the Hohenzollerns is identified with that of Brandenburg from 1415 to 1701, and with that of Prussia since the latter date, as in this year the elector Frederick III. became king of Prussia. In 1871 William, the seventh king, took the title of German emperor. While the electorate of Brandenburg passed according to the rule of primogenirure, the Franconian possessions of the Hohenzollerns, Ansbach and Bayreuth, were given as appanages to younger sons, an arrangement which was confirmed by the dispositio Achillea of 1473. These principalities were ruled by the sons and descendants of the elector Albert Achilles from 1486 to 1603; and, after reverting to the elector of Brandenburg, by the descendants of the elector John George from 1603 to 1791. In 1791 Prince Charles Alexander (d. 1806), who had inherited both districts, sold his lands to Prussia.

The influence of the Swabian branch of the Hohenzollerns was weakened by several partitions of its lands; but early in the 16th century it rose to some eminence through Count Eitel Frederick II. (d. 1512), a friend and adviser of the emperor Maximilian I. Eitel received from this emperor the district of Haigerloch, and in 1534 his grandson Charles (d. 1576) was granted the counties of Sigmaringen and Viihringen by the emperor Charles V. In 1576 the sons of Charles divided their lands, and founded three branches of the family, one of which is still flourishing. Eitel Frederick IV. took Hohenzollern with the title of Hohenzollern-Hechingen; Charles II. Sigmaringen and VOhringen and the title of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen; and Christopher took Haigerloch. Christopher's family died out in 1634, but the remaining lines are of some importance. Count John George of Hohenzollern-Hechingen was made a prince in 1623, and John of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen soon received the same honour. In 1695 these two branches of the family entered conjointly into an agreement with Brandenburg, which provided that, in case of the extinction of either of the Swabian branches, the remaining branch should inherit its lands; and if both branches became extinct the principalities should revert to Brandenburg. During the 17th and ,8th centuries and during the period of the Napoleonic wars the history of these lands was very similar to that of the other small estates of Germany. In consequence of the political troubles of 1848 Princes Frederick William of HohenzollernHechingen and Charles Anton of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen resigned their principalities, and accordingly these fell to the king of Prussia, who took possession on the 12th of March 1850. By a royal decree of the 10th of May following the title of "highness," with the prerogatives of younger sons of the royal house, was conferred on the two princes. The proposal to raise Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1835-1905) to the Spanish throne in 1870 was the immediate cause of the war between France and Germany. In 1908 the head of this branch of the Hohenzollerns, the only one existing besides the imperial house, was Leopold's son William (b. 1864), who, owing to the extinction of the family of Hohenzollern-Hechingen in 1869, was called simply prince of Hohenzollern. In 1866 Prince Charles of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was chosen prince of Rumania, becoming king in 1881.

The modern Prussian province of Hohenzollern is a long, narrow strip of territory bounded on the S.W. by Baden and in other directions by Wurttemberg. It was divided into two principalities, Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and HohenzollernHechingen, until 1850, when these were united. They now form the government of Sigmaringen (q.v.).

The castle of Hohenzollern was destroyed in 1423, but it has been restored several times. Some remains of the old building may still be seen adjoining the present castle, which was built by King Frederick William IV.

See Monumenta Zollerana, edited by R. von Stillfried and T. Marker (Berlin, 1852-1890); Quellen and Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des Hauses Hohenzollern, edited by E. Berner (Berlin, 1901 fol.); R. von Stillfried, Altertiimer and Kunstdenkmale des erlauchten Hauses von Hohenzollern (Berlin, 1852-1867) and Stammtafeln des Gesamthauses Hohenzollern (Berlin, 1869); L. Schmid, Die alteste Geschichte des erlauchten Gesamthauses der koniglichen and furstlichen Hohenzollern (Tubingen, 1884-1888); E. Schwartz, Stammtafel des preussischen Konigshauses (Breslau 1898); Hohenzollernsche Forschungen, Jahrbuch fir die Geschichte der Hohenzollern, edited by C. Meyer (Berlin, 1891-1902); Hohenzollern Jahrbuch, Forschungen and Abbildungen zur Geschichte der Hohenzollern in Brandenburg-Preussen, edited by Seidel (Leipzig, 18 971903), and T. Carlyle, History of Frederick the Great (London, 1872-1873). (A. W. H.*)

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Simple English

House of Hohenzollern
Germany, Prussia, Romania
Country: Germany, Romania
Parent House: Burchardinger dynasty
Titles: Count of Zollern
Margrave of Brandenburg
Duke of Prussia
Burgrave of Nuremberg
Margrave of Bayreuth
Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach
King of Prussia
German Emperor
Prince of Neuchâtel
King of Romania
Founder: Burgrave Frederick I of Nuremberg
Final Ruler: Germany and Prussia:
Emperor William II (1888–1918)

King Michael (1927–1930, 1940–1947)

Current Head: Germany and Prussia:
HI&RH Prince Georg Friedrich (1994–)

HH Prince Karl Friedrich (2010–)

extinct since 1869

HM King Michael (1947–)

Founding Year: 1100s AD
Ethnicity: German, Romanian
Cadet Branches: Hohenzollern-Hechingen

The Royal House of Hohenzollern began ruling the area around Berlin and Brandenburg in modern Germany in 1415.[1]

They became one of the Electors of the Holy Roman Emperor, Kings of Prussia in 1702 and in 1871 German Emperors.

They stopped ruling after World War One, when Germany became a republic. Prussia was abolished by the 4 allied powers controlling Germany in 1947.

The Royal Family took their name from their ancestral home Hohenzollern Castle in what is now Baden-Württemberg. The area around the castle was once ruled as a separate principality.

Other Websites

A Family History Site


  1. Hall (trans), Colkin (2005). The Electors of Brandenburg, Kings of Prussia, German Kaisers. Karwe, Germany: Edition Rieger. pp. 36. ISBN 3935231644. 


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